Common Mistakes Businesses Make When Conducting Pre-Employment Background Checks

Conducting background checks on job applicants is an essential part of the hiring process. Employers often rush through the process or fail to stay up to date on changing laws. This can lead them to make mistakes. These are some of the most common mistakes employers make when conducting background checks on prospective employees and how you can avoid them.

Not Getting a Job Applicant’s Consent First

An employer is legally required to obtain a job candidate’s written consent before conducting a background check. This must be obtained through a form that tells the candidate that the information from a background check will be used to make an employment decision. Conducting a background check without prior consent is a violation of the law that can have serious consequences.

Not Verifying Key Information

A background check company will be careful to obtain correct information, but sometimes mistakes happen. This is often because multiple people have the same name or there is a mistake in a Social Security number or date of birth. Take the time to verify an applicant’s information before conducting a background check so you can get accurate records.

Not Conducting a Complete Background Check

Some employers only check a national criminal history database. This may not include records from all parts of the country. You should also conduct state and local background checks to uncover potential crimes in an employee’s record.

Employers often check applicants’ criminal and work histories but fail to verify their educational backgrounds. Many job applicants include misleading or downright false information on their resumes, including degrees they did not earn and even degrees from institutions of higher learning that do not exist. A thorough background check should always verify a job candidate’s educational background.

Not Giving an Applicant Time to Respond Before Taking Adverse Action

Before you decide not to hire someone because of information uncovered in a background check, you must notify the candidate and give him or her a chance to respond. The information may be incorrect, or the candidate may wish to provide additional information that may affect your decision.

DataCheck Can Help You Conduct Thorough and Accurate Background Checks

Conducting a background check on a job applicant is necessary, but you need to do it carefully. Mistakes often happen because employers don’t understand the law or try to rush through the process.

DataCheck has helped many businesses all over the United States conduct pre-employment background checks. We can help your company comply with all federal, state, and local laws and obtain correct information so you can make the best hiring decisions possible. Contact us today to learn more.

Will a Background Check Show an Arrest That Did Not Lead to a Conviction?

Most employers in all fields conduct background checks on job applicants before they offer candidates employment. One of the most important parts of a background check is a check for past criminal behavior. While most people know that a background check will show prior convictions for crimes, there is some confusion about whether or not an arrest record will be revealed.

How Arrest Records May Be Reported

Courts generally report an arrest in a similar way to how they report a conviction. The company performing the background check needs to go through the information to find out if the person was convicted, if the charges were dropped, or if the person is awaiting trial.

An arrest record may be described as a pending case, which may result in a conviction, plea deal, or acquittal. It may also be designated as an arrest/non-conviction, meaning the person was found not guilty or the charges were dismissed, or arrest/conviction, meaning that the person was convicted or pled guilty.

Can Arrest Records Be Considered in Hiring Decisions?

The Fair Credit Reporting Act places restrictions on what types of information employers can consider in making decisions about hiring, promoting, and retaining employees. The FCRA lets employers consider arrest records within the past seven years when making employment decisions.

Other laws place limitations on how information in a person’s criminal record can be used. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission states that an employer must have a valid reason for denying employment based on an arrest record. Some states have laws that prohibit employers from considering arrest records that did not lead to convictions when making employment decisions.

An employer may want to consider an arrest record related to a pending case if a conviction for the offense would exclude the person from employment. If a conviction for that offense would not prevent the company from hiring the person, then the company can choose not to consider the arrest record. Some industries, such as financial services and banking, are mandated to consider applicants’ arrest records. An employer may also want to look at whether the arrest was an isolated event or whether the applicant has a pattern of arrests and convictions.

DataCheck Can Help with Pre-Employment Background Checks

If your company is thinking about hiring or promoting an employee, you should conduct a background check. It will include records of criminal convictions and may also include records of recent arrests that you may want to consider in making your employment decision. DataCheck has helped many businesses all over the United States conduct pre-employment background checks so they could make informed hiring and promotion decisions. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help your company.

How Far Back Do Pre-Employment Background Checks Go?

Most employers conduct background checks on job applicants as part of the hiring process. A background check can uncover important information such as criminal convictions and can allow an employer to verify an applicant’s education and previous employment. Some employers also check candidates’ credit if they would be working in positions that involve handling money.

Fair Credit Reporting Act Guidelines

Records on individuals can stretch back many years, or even decades. Some information may not be included in a background check if it is more than a specific number of years old. State laws vary, but the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act sets some general guidelines.

The FCRA sets time limits on certain types of information that may be collected as part of a background check. Bankruptcies that are more than 10 years old, tax liens that were paid more than seven years ago, accounts that were sent to a collections agency more than seven years ago, civil suits and civil judgments that are more than seven years old, arrest records that are more than seven years old, and any other adverse actions, except criminal convictions, that are more than seven years old may not be reported to employers. These time limits do not apply to candidates for positions that pay $75,000 or more per year.

Reporting of Criminal Convictions Varies by Location

The FCRA does not set a time limit on the reporting of criminal convictions, but some state laws do. Different counties have different policies on how long they keep records of criminal convictions. Felony records are usually kept for a long time, while records of misdemeanors may be purged sooner.

Records of Past Employment and Education

Employers vary in terms of how long they keep records on past employees. A verification of past employment could turn up records related to employment that was recent or decades old.

Education verification is a credential check. Most colleges and universities keep records indefinitely, so employers can check a candidate’s education regardless of when the degree was earned.

Verifications of Current Status

Some parts of a background check are checks of current status. A Social Security number verification checks to make sure the Social Security number provided is currently registered to the applicant in question. A credit check looks into the current state of a person’s finances, and a license verification checks to make sure an applicant currently holds a valid license.

Contact DataCheck for Help with Pre-Employment Background Checks

If you are planning to hire a new employee, you should conduct a background check to verify an applicant’s education and work history and check for criminal convictions before extending an offer of employment. DataCheck has helped employers all over the United States conduct thorough background checks so they could make the right hiring decisions. We will work to comply with the Fair Credit Reporting Act and all other relevant state and local laws. Contact DataCheck today to get started.

Are Background Checks Required for Youth Sports Coaches?

children sports coaches background checksMany children of all ages participate in youth sports through their schools or community organizations. Parents enroll their kids in sports to develop their athletic abilities and to teach values like teamwork and social skills. Parents expect their children to be safe and to be trained and supervised by people who are responsible and trustworthy.

Background Checks Are Not Always Required

One way to ensure that children are coached by qualified and responsible people is to conduct background checks. Many parents assume that anyone who works with children has to undergo a background check, but that is not always the case. State laws vary on whether or not background checks are required for volunteer athletic coaches who work with children. Some states require background checks, but many do not. Some youth sports leagues and organizations require background checks for anyone who wishes to coach children’s sports, but policies are not universal.

Why Your Organization Should Conduct Background Checks

If you run a youth sports team or league, you should require thorough background checks on anyone who wants to coach children’s sports, even if your state or local laws do not require it. Organizations that serve children have a responsibility to do everything they can to keep them safe. Conducting background checks is one way that athletic organizations can practice due diligence to keep kids safe from people who have criminal records or who are in sex offender registries. Knowing that organizations conduct thorough background checks can discourage people who could be threats to children from applying for coaching positions and can give parents peace of mind.

Data Check Can Conduct Background Checks on Coaches

Data Check conducts thorough background checks on applicants for positions in many industries, including full-time and part-time workers and volunteers, such as coaches. We can search criminal records to identify applicants with prior convictions and let you know if anyone who applied for a coaching position is a registered sex offender. We can also conduct drug testing to make sure that people who coach children are not using drugs that could affect their behavior and judgment and put the safety of children in their care in jeopardy.

We can conduct background checks quickly so that you will be able to recruit and hire coaches and then get right to work training for the upcoming season. If you need to conduct background checks on prospective coaches who will be working with children, contact Data Check today to get started.

Employment Background Checks and Applicants’ Rights

background check applicant rightsMany companies conduct background checks on job applicants before making offers of employment. The Federal Trade Commission enforces the Fair Credit Reporting Act, the federal law that governs employment-related background checks. The law explains what information can be obtained, how it can be used, and what protections job applicants have.

An employer may ask for information on an applicant’s employment history, education, criminal record, financial history, medical history, and use of social media. Employers may not treat applicants differently on the basis of race, national origin, gender, religion, disability, genetic information, or age, if the applicant is over 40.

Before an employer obtains a background check report, the company must tell the applicant that the information might be used to make a decision on whether or not to offer employment. The applicant must give written permission to conduct a background check. An applicant may refuse to give permission, but the employer may reject the application for employment.

If an employer decides not to hire, retain, or promote a person because of information in a background check, it must give the person a copy of the report and a ”Summary of Rights.” If the applicant finds a mistake in the background report, he or she can ask the company to fix it and notify the employer.

If an applicant is rejected for employment based on criminal history or financial information, the employer must provide the name, address, and phone number of the company that provided the information and say that the company did not make the decision on the adverse action. The applicant has the right to dispute the information in the report and to obtain a free report from the company that provided it.

If you believe your rights related to a background check have been violated, you can contact the Federal Trade Commission or the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.